ELFA - Equipment Leasing and Finance Association - Equipping Business for Success

Nurturing Tomorrow’s Leaders: The ELFA Emerging Talent Advisory Council’s Impact on the Equipment Finance Industry

In the dynamic landscape of the equipment finance industry, fostering the growth of emerging talent is not just a priority but a strategic imperative. At the forefront of this commitment stands the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's (ELFA) Emerging Talent Advisory Council (ETAC). Unveiling a compelling narrative of empowerment and progression, this council is dedicated to propelling the rising stars of the industry into leadership roles.

The mission of the ELFA Emerging Talent Advisory Council is as clear as it is ambitious: to enable the advancement and development of emerging talent within the equipment finance sector. Industry leaders recognize the pivotal role that the next generation plays in shaping the future of equipment finance. More than a mere platform for professional growth, the council acts as a catalyst for change, actively encouraging emerging talent to immerse themselves in ELFA and the industry.

One of the ways ETAC does this is through Emergence, an annual equipment leasing and finance development conference. In July 2023, Emergence took place in Baltimore, MD. More than 100 emerging leaders convened to hear wonderful speakers and participate in leadership development workshops, industry updates, panel discussions and networking. In addition, our own ETAC members shared their career and professional journeys. You can read more in the October 2023 issue of Equipment Leasing & Finance Magazine for Industry Executives: Rising Stars Thrive at Emergence2023. Emergence2024 will be in Philadelphia, PA on July 11th and 12th. Registration opens May 15th.

Another way ETAC keeps emerging leaders updated on industry trends, development opportunities and events is the ETAC LinkedIn page. It helps early- and mid- career processionals share career-building advice and connect with industry influencers.

Beyond its dedication to individual advancement, ETAC takes an unwavering stance on promoting diversity and inclusion within the industry. Recognizing the transformative power of diverse perspectives, the council strives to create an environment where everyone, regardless of background or identity, feels empowered to contribute to the industry's innovation and success. ETAC continues to work with the ELFA Women’s Council as well as the ELFA Equity Committee to develop and promote content, workshops and webinars that promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the industry.

As we watched ETAC’s 2023 endeavors, we witnessed personal and professional development as well as a collective commitment to shaping a more inclusive and thriving future for the equipment finance industry.

For me, 2023 was the most impactful year of my four-year ETAC involvement because I served as the council Chair. I gained tremendous experience in networking, talent development and collaboration across organizations – and even made new friends. I had a chance to take part in task forces responsible for content development, marketing and preparations for the annual Emergence conferences. I will carry this experience far into my professional career.

I am excited about the future of this council, now chaired by Matt Vazzana from Huntington Technology Finance and supported by staff liaison Eboni Preston-Laurent, ELFA Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. As ELFA steps into 2024 with new President and CEO Leigh Lytle, I am encouraged by the continued commitment to leadership development for emerging talent. I look forward to seeing what ETAC will do next!

Svetlana “Lana” Kralik, Credit Administration Officer, U.S. Bank Equipment Finance, 2023 ETAC Chair.